South Bend Common Councilman Oliver Davis comments on major news topics affecting South Bend in the September monthly chat.
South Bend police chief investigation
South Bend Police Chief Ron Teachman was accused of failing to back up another officer when a fight broke out at the Martin Luther King, Jr. Center in April. Mayor Pete Buttigieg made a decision not to punish Teachman following a meeting with the board of public safety Wednesday. The president of that board resigned in response to Buttigieg’s decision.
Q: Do you think Buttigieg made the right decision?
A: “The key thing we’re looking at is consistency, Mayor Buttigieg is going to have to explain to the community why this issue is different from the Chief Boykins situation. There’s a lot of unrest in the community to say that one was treated differently than the other. Why did he share public information in the first situation, and say this one is private.”
Q: Do you think releasing the ISP report would help clarify this?
A: “I believe so. The more people know, the better they understand what the decision making process was.”
Building and code enforcement department merger
South Bend’s Common Council delayed a vote and discussion on a proposal to merge the city’s building and code enforcement departments.
Q: Why did you propose to table this issue?
A: Davis cites issues with employees losing their jobs with little warning, right before the holiday season. “This was a timing issue. When we’re looking at a major merge like this, we need to make sure we plan and it’s done correctly. We said ‘put a time out on this one and look at it maybe for next year.’”